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Coronavirus - 13th June


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Post by Kitkat on Sat Jun 13 2020, 11:43

Summary for Saturday, 13th June

  • Leaked report says racism, stigma and social inequality may exacerbate Covid-19 risk to UK minorities
  • This may mean BAME individuals are less likely to seek care, the draft Public Health England report says
  • A virus outbreak in a wholesale market in Beijing leads to fears of a second wave in the Chinese capital
  • Forty-five cases have been recorded, after weeks without new infections; the area is put on lockdown
  • Brazil's death toll becomes second highest in the world, surpassing the UK's with more than 41,000 victims
  • Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro continues to play down the virus, focusing on the economic damage of lockdown
  • Outbreak from a wholesale market in Beijing leads to fears of a second wave of the virus in the Chinese capital
  • Hong Kong's iconic Ocean Park theme park reopens after more than four months of temporary closure
  • From today, people living alone in England and Northern Ireland will be able to form a support bubble with another household
  • The Queen's official birthday will be marked later with a new ceremony instead of the annual Trooping the Colour parade
  • British Airways' treatment of staff during the coronavirus crisis "is a national disgrace", MPs claim

Welcome to today's rolling coronavirus coverage. It's a sunny Saturday here in London.
If you’re joining us in the UK, Africa and Europe - good morning, and good afternoon if you’re in Asia or Australia.
Here are some of the latest headlines from around the world:

  • Over 7.6 million cases have been reported worldwide, along with 425,000 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University
  • Brazil has overtaken the UK to become the nation with the second-highest number of deaths from coronavirus. More than 900 people have died during the last 24 hours, bringing the total to almost 42,000
  • India and Armenia have both reported their biggest daily jump in new infections - 11,458 and 723 respectively. India currently has the fourth-highest number of cases worldwide
  • Eleven residential estates in south Beijing have been locked down and a wholesale market closed due to a fresh cluster of infections. Over 40 new cases have been reported in the Chinese capital during the last few days
  • Meanwhile New Zealand has reported no new infections for 22 consecutive days. Earlier this week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that nearly all the country’s lockdown restrictions were being lifted

The picture in Brazil

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The Americas now account for about half of total confirmed coronavirus cases globally, with Brazil the epicentre of the epicentre.
The largest country in Latin America, it has 828,810 confirmed cases - the highest in the world behind the US. It also has the second-highest death toll in the world (nearly 42,000), having overtaken the UK.
But the numbers are thought to be much higher because of insufficient testing. It's also believed that the country is still weeks away from reaching the "peak".

What's happening in the UK?

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Once again, eyes will be on cities across the country as more anti-racism protests are expected today. There have been warnings from the prime minister and others for people to stay home both due to the coronavirus pandemic and fears of violence.
The Metropolitan Police has put restrictions in place on several groups across London , with right-wing counter protesters also expected to be out in numbers.
All events will have to end by 17:00 BST following violent scenes last weekend.
In other news:

The famous chef feeding Covid-hit neighbourhoods

Chef and World Central Kitchen founder José Andrés has been delivering meals to food-insecure areas of the US that have been hit particularly hard by Covid-19.
Mr Andrés says that there are about 40 million Americans who don't know where their next meal is coming from.
More than 20 million people lost their jobs in March and April. Earlier this week, the National Bureau of Economic Research declared the US had entered an economic recession.

Trooping the Colour cancelled for second time in Queen's reign

Trooping the Colour, the traditional celebration of the monarch's official birthday, will not take place for only the second time during the Queen's 68-year reign.
Normally the event sees the Queen inspect the Horse Guards at Whitehall before being escorted by the Household Cavalry back to Buckingham Palace where she takes a salute before an RAF flypast.
It has only been cancelled once before during the Queen's reign - in 1955 during a national rail strike. But restrictions during lockdown have prevented the celebration from taking place in 2020 in its regular form.
Instead, the Queen, who has been staying at Windsor with the Duke of Edinburgh for the past 12 weeks, is taking two royal salutes at the castle from the Welsh Guards - under social-distancing rules and with no spectators.

Beijing district on 'wartime' footing

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Two women wear protective suits as they walk on a street near the closed wholesale market in Beijing

An official in the Chinese capital Beijing says the city's Fengtai district is on a "wartime emergency footing" as lockdowns are enforced in 11 neighbourhoods over fears of a renewed coronavirus outbreak.
District official Chu Junwei confirmed there had been 45 new positive cases at Xinfadi market in the south-east of Beijing – though none showed symptoms of Covid-19. The market supplies 80% of Beijing's meat and vegetables, and authorities say traces of coronavirus were found on a chopping block used for imported salmon.
The surge in cases has led city authorities to ban sports fixtures and tourism from other regions, amid fears of a second wave of the coronavirus. More than 10,000 staff at Xinfadi market are also being tested for the virus.
Until recently, Beijing has gone for more than 50 days without a new case. The influence of markets on the pandemic is a sensitive issue in China - the first cases of the global pandemic were detected at a market in the city of Wuhan.

Those who live alone able to see loved ones in England and NI

Today is the first day in months that many people who live alone can spend time with loved ones as new “social bubble" rules come into force in England and Northern Ireland .
Adults who live alone are allowed to visit one other household and are even allowed to stay overnight. In England the same goes for single parents of under-18s.
The new measures open up the possibility for grandparents who live alone to visit and hug their grandchildren for the first time since lockdown began in March. Couples who live apart will also be able to be close to each other again.
Nicola Ellen told BBC Breakfast that a support bubble was the best present for her and her daughter's upcoming birthdays.
She said: "I have got one daughter, Ellie, she is so close to her grandparents and she is just desperate for a hug. There could possibly be some tears, I don’t know if they will let go."

Protests held in Australia despite restrictions

Thousands of people have gathered in cities across Australia, rallying in support of refugee rights and Black Lives Matter.
The demonstrations have been held despite bans on mass gatherings to contain the spread of coronavirus.
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A group of protesters gathered in Melbourne while practicing social distancing
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Meanwhile large crowds held rallies in Perth to support Black Lives Matter and protest against aboriginal deaths in police custody

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Images show some demonstrators in Perth maintaining a distance, but many were crowded together

BA's treatment of workers a 'national disgrace'

British Airways' treatment of staff during the coronavirus crisis has been labelled "a national disgrace" by MPs .
A Transport Select Committee report accuses the airline of a "calculated attempt to take advantage" of the pandemic by cutting up to 12,000 jobs and downgrading terms and conditions.
BA said it was doing all it could to keep "the maximum number of jobs".
But the MPs said the airline's actions fell "well below the standards we would expect from any employer".
The aviation industry has been one of the hardest hit since the pandemic forced countries into lockdown, with airlines including EasyJet, Ryanair, and Virgin Atlantic, and suppliers Rolls-Royce and Airbus, announcing thousands of job cuts.

Overwhelmed Indian hospitals turn Covid patients away

India has continued to see record daily rises in Covid-19 cases after easing its strict lockdown this week.
The capital, Delhi, could have more than half a million coronavirus cases by the end of July, according to officials.
Meanwhile, the number of cases in the worst-affected city, Mumbai, has surpassed the total in Wuhan, China, where the virus first appeared.
Indian hospitals are struggling to cope with the number of patients they’re getting. Many are dying without getting the treatment they need.

How will shopping change on Monday?

Non-essential shops in England will be able to reopen on Monday for the first time since lockdown started on 23 March.
For many people stuck indoors for weeks, and hoping for some retail therapy, it will be a welcome change of scene. But how will it compare to before the pandemic?

  • Shops will look different - social distancing measures will be in place and there will be hand sanitiser gel points around shops
  • Shopping will be a solo sport - advice is for people to shop alone where possible
  • Don't touch what you can't afford - shoppers are being advised to only touch what they plan to buy
  • Be prepared to wait - as with supermarkets there are likely to be queues to allow for social distancing

Shops in Northern Ireland have already reopened, while no date has been set for non-essential retailers to open their doors in Scotland and Wales.
Read more on how shops are changing the way they operate

Dalai Lama: Seven billion people 'need a sense of oneness'

'Compassion and humanity important during coronavirus pandemic,' says the Dalai Lama
The leader of Tibetan Buddhism sees reasons for optimism even in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
People are helping one another, the Dalai Lama told the BBC's Justin Rowlatt. And if seven billion people on Earth develop "a sense of oneness", he said, they may also unite to solve the problem of climate change.
The important thing, the spiritual leader says, is to recognise that we are not individuals alone, we depend on the community we are a part of.
"In the past there was too much emphasis on my continent, my nation, my religion. Now that thinking is out of date."

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Jun 13 2020, 12:08

Date looms for EU nations to open their internal borders

In line with European Union plans for its members to open their internal borders by mid-June, from Monday Belgium, France and Greece will be lifting restrictions on most travel within Europe.
As part of its move, France is asking countries for reciprocity. Travellers from the UK, for example, have been asked to go into a voluntary 14-day quarantine due to Britain's imposition of a quarantine on most foreign arrivals, including from France.
But border openings have not been seamlessly co-ordinated throughout the bloc.
Many European countries - like Italy, Bulgaria and Hungary - have already reopened their borders, but are excluding nations deemed unsafe due to infection levels. In several cases, the UK and Sweden are among the banned countries.
Elsewhere, Spain plans to lift its travel restrictions only from 1 July. Portugal says it will open their shared border on the same day.

Protests expected despite health warnings

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Mass protests are expected in the UK today, despite warnings that such gatherings could risk spreading coronavirus.
More Black Lives Matter demonstrations are taking place, following the death of George Floyd in the US, who died after a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Counter protests from right-wing groups are also expected, while the Metropolitan Police has introduced a 17:00 BST curfew in London .
The prime minister, home secretary and Met Police commissioner have all told protesters not to congregate due to the risk to health.
So are such demonstrations actually legal given the coronavirus lockdown? BBC home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani takes a look here .

Fear of second wave in Beijing after market outbreak

Stephen McDonell - BBC News, China correspondent
An outbreak of coronavirus emanating from a large wholesale market in Beijing has led to fears of a second waves of sickness in the Chinese capital.
More than 10,000 staff at the Xinfadi wholesale market are now being tested.
The huge market, which supplies 80% of Beijing’s vegetables and meat, has been linked to a new cluster of cases in the city after dozens of people who work there tested positive.
According to officials, traces of the coronavirus have been found on a chopping block used for imported salmon.
Footage on social media appears to show hundreds of military police marching into Xinfadi Market.
Some neighbourhoods have again been sealed off to all but residents. Transport services and schools close to the market have been closed, as have some of Beijing’s most prominent public spaces, including the National Centre for the Performing Arts and the Lama Temple.

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Jun 13 2020, 15:18

Two US states pause reopening plans

Earlier this week, authorities in the western US states of Oregon and Utah halted their plans to ease lockdown restrictions, citing local spikes in Covid-19 cases.
More than 13,000 infections have been reported in Utah since the outbreak began. Oregon has registered more than 5,300.
Oregon Governor Kayte Brown said on Thursday that a one-week pause would "give public health experts time to assess what factors are driving the spread of the virus”.
Gary Herbert, Utah's governor, also said investigations would be carried out while the state delayed its reopening plans until 16 June.
“I don’t want to go forward and then take a step backward,” he told reporters.
It comes as California, Florida and Texas - America’s most populous states - all reported their highest daily counts of new infections this week. Some coronavirus hotspots, including New York, have reported significant declines in infections, but the US continues to have by far the world's highest number of deaths and cases. It has been recording more than 20,000 new cases a day.

Trump to address cadets in tightly controlled ceremony

US President Donald Trump will address more than 1,000 military cadets at a graduation ceremony later today, despite concerns over mass gatherings during the pandemic.
The group of new second lieutenants at the prestigious West Point academy in New York were ordered back to campus after the president declared in mid-April that his speech would be going ahead.
So how is the academy ensuring the graduates do not transmit the virus?
Various preventative measures have been put in place, according to the New York Times. Cadets have mostly been confined to their dorms in recent weeks and they have been separated into groups, so they can eat in shifts.
During the ceremony itself, no friends or relatives will be admitted, and cadets will be seated apart from each other. They will wear masks to get to their seats, then they will be allowed to take them off.
The event comes amid a tense time between the president and the armed forces. Various military figures have accused Trump of politicising the forces during recent Black Lives Matter protests.
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Normally, a graduation ceremony at West Point (pictured in 2010) draws in large crowds

Contact-tracing app rumours debunked

Reality Check:
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False rumours have been circulating on social media about contact-tracing apps around the world.
The apps are being introduced by governments in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.
In the UK, one message we've seen being copied and pasted on Facebook asks people to unfriend them and delete them from their phone contacts because - it claims - the app will "ask permission to access all of your contacts".
This post misrepresents how the proposed app works.
We've been looking into this and other dubious coronavirus claims.

Where should I wear a face mask?

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New rules come into effect in England from Monday meaning people will be required to wear a face covering on public transport.
Hospital staff, outpatients and visitors will also be required to wear face protection.
This is in line with new World Health Organization (WHO) advice which says non-medical face coverings should be worn in public where social distancing is not possible - including public transport.
Uber will also require drivers and passengers to wear face coverings from Monday.
In Wales people are being asked to wear non-medical face coverings where social distancing is not possible - including public transport. But the government stopped short of making their use mandatory.
Similar advice has been given by Northern Ireland's first minister and deputy first minister.
In Scotland, it is recommended you consider using face coverings in limited circumstances - such as public transport - as a precautionary measure.

Mystery Darfur deaths raise concern for war-torn region

A spike in deaths across Darfur in Sudan has sparked concerns that the virus is spreading through vulnerable communities in the war-ravaged region.
Officially, Sudan's health ministry has confirmed 6,879 cases and 433 deaths nationwide. Of these, 193 infections and 54 deaths have been reported in Darfur.
But several communities have reported mystery fatalities, the Associated Press reports , which potentially point to a higher figure. Recently El Fasher, in north Darfur, reported more than 200 such cases in just two weeks. Medical officials investigated and found 50 cases were attributed to Covid-19.
Authorities are scrambling to stop the spread of disease amid a shaky democratic transition after protests helped to topple the government of President Omar al-Bashir last year.
But efforts are being hampered by a mistrust of the government, and by poor healthcare in the region, where 1.6 million live in refugee camps.
Authorities are also reportedly clamping down on reporting of the outbreak. Two journalists were harassed and threatened after writing about the deaths in El Fasher and the lack of protective equipment availabe to doctors, according to the Darfur Journalist Association.

If you're just joining us...

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Children visit an art exhibition in Beijing, where a fresh outbreak is causing alarm

Wherever you are in the world, welcome to our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
A lot has been happening today. To help you catch up, here are the main headlines.

  • There are fears of a second wave of the virus in Beijing after an outbreak at a wholesale market in the China's capital. Forty-five new cases have been recorded after the city went weeks without any new infections. The local area has now been put back under lockdown

  • Brazil's death toll has surpassed the UK's to become the second-highest in the world. More than 41,000 people have died - but despite this, far-right President Jair Bolsonaro continues to focus on the economic impact of lockdown restrictions
  • US President Donald Trump will address more than 1,000 military cadets at a graduation ceremony later today, despite warnings against mass gatherings
  • At the same time, the US states of Oregon and Utah have halted their plans to ease lockdown restrictions after local spikes in cases of Covid-19

  • India has recorded its highest daily spike in infections - it has the fourth-highest number of cases in the world
  • Meanwhile in the UK, from today, people living alone in England and Northern Ireland are able to form a "support bubble" with another household. The rules are different in Wales and Scotland
  • Today is also the Queen's official birthday - but because of the pandemic, it was marked with a socially-distanced ceremony in Windsor instead of the traditional Trooping the Colour parade

Social-contact curbs 'put adolescents at risk'

Neuroscientists have warned that lockdown could have damaging long-term consequences for teenagers.
The lack of face-to-face contact could affect their brain development, behaviour and mental health at a crucial time in their lives, a new study says.
The research, published in The Lancet , suggests social media could help but that reopening schools - when safe to do so - should be a priority.
So how do teenagers in the UK feel about lockdown life?
Some of them have been talking to the BBC

No death figures from Spain for a week

For almost a week Spain's death toll has been stuck at 27,136, as officials haven't been reporting the number of daily deaths in the country.
The health ministry's emergencies coordinator, Fernando Simon, acknowledged last week that the national death toll had been "frozen" because of discrepancies in the figures, which he blamed on data-reporting delays in some regional areas.
Some regions have hit back at this, saying that they've been submitting all of the required data but it hasn't been reflected in the overall toll.
Spain switched to a new method of collecting data on confirmed cases and fatalities on 25 May, which resulted in much lower daily figures than were being recorded under the old system.

Pakistan turns to 'smart lockdowns' as cases spike

Pakistani authorities have introduced localised lockdowns in hundreds of areas around the country to contain new infections. On Saturday, Pakistan reported its highest single day rise in cases since the outbreak began.
So-called "smart lockdowns" are being enforced to close businesses and force people to stay at home in areas where infections have increased in recent weeks.
On Saturday, Pakistan reported 6,472 new cases, bringing its toll to 132,405 cases and 2,551 deaths.
A nationwide lockdown was introduced in March but restrictions have since been eased by Prime Minister Imran Khan in a bid to shore up the economy.
Although cases are rising, "for countries like us, the only option is a smart lockdown so that the burden doesn't fall on poor people", he said on Saturday.

Calls to end church singing ban as soon as possible

Will it soon be time to sing Hallelujah?
The Church of England is calling for singing and instrument-playing to return to cathedrals and churches as soon as it’s considered safe.
The current government guidance advises against such activities, with the exception of playing the organ.
From today, places of worship in England can reopen, but only for private prayer.
But the Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, said it’s been a "difficult time" for church musicians and that many are "anxious" to know when they can return.
"We are encouraging the government to be alert to the consequences of our choirs' continued silence - and to take a proactive approach to allowing singing to return to our churches and cathedrals as soon as it is possible to do so safely," she said.
Royal School of Church Music director Hugh Morris joined the call, adding: "We know from the work we have been doing to support church musicians up and down the land that they are longing to express themselves in music making."

Further 80 deaths across UK nations

A further 80 people have died from the coronavirus, official figures show.
NHS England announced 67 new deaths had been registered in hospitals as of 17:00 BST yesterday, taking the total in England to 27,926.
There were six deaths announced in Wales bringing the total to 1,441 and five in Scotland , bringing the total there to 2,447.
The daily figures for Northern Ireland showed a further two deaths - taking the total there to 541.
The UK's Department of Health will publish their overall figure later, which usually differs from the nations' total due to variations in how the data is collected.

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Jun 13 2020, 18:24

European countries sign vaccine deal with AstraZeneca

Italy, Germany, France and the Netherlands have signed a deal with AstraZeneca for the pharmaceutical firm to supply European citizens with a coronavirus vaccine, Italy's health minister has said.
The contract is for 400 million doses of the potential vaccine, which is being developed with the University of Oxford in the UK. Its experimentation phase is expected to end this autumn.
Announcing the news in a Facebook post, Roberto Speranza added that the first batch of doses would be made available by the end of this year.
"With today's deal comes a promising first step forward for Italy and Europe," he added. "A vaccine is the only solution to Covid-19."

British family's three months in lockdown... in Nepal

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Jacob celebrated his 4th birthday in Nepal

An around-the-world trip with your children is the stuff of dreams for many.
Kris and Julie Smith, from Scotland, began their trip last summer, before anyone had heard of Covid-19.
As countries began imposing lockdowns however, things became rather more static for the couple and their children Erihn, nine, and Jacob, now four.
They've spent the last few months confined to a hotel near the small town of Lukla in Nepal.
"We had managed to get seven days trekking and then the lockdown appeared," Julie, 46, said.
The family has been telling the BBC about their time thousands of miles from home

Americans get official advice on how to enjoy the summer

The US public health body, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has released new guidelines for Americans wanting to go out and about.
Among the suggestions are that dinner party hosts ask guests to bring their own food, that travellers avoid lifts in hotels, and that gym-goers wear a mask while doing low-intensity workouts.
The new guidance comes as some states begin to ease lockdown restrictions.
But two states, Oregon and Utah, have halted their plans to ease restrictions because of local spikes in the number of cases.

Family reunited after lockdown hospital stay

A four-year-old boy with cancer and his father have been reunited with the rest of their family after the lockdown separated them for seven weeks while the boy received treatment.
Oliver Stephenson was admitted into Leeds General Infirmary on 27 April for chemotherapy after being diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma in January.
His father, James, 32, has been at his bedside but his mother, Laura, and brother, Alfie, were unable to visit.
James Stephenson said it had been "like torture waiting to come home" , but it was "amazing" to be reunited.

Trump addresses socially distanced cadets

President Trump has delivered his commencement address to graduating cadets at West Point Military Academy in New York state.
And because of the pandemic, the ceremony looks quite different this year: cadets are wearing face masks, and are socially distanced from each other.
The ceremony has gone ahead despite warnings against mass gatherings in the state.
New York has the highest death toll within the US, which itself has the highest national death toll in the world.
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UK death toll rises by 181

A further 181 people have died after testing positive for Covid-19 in the UK, latest daily figures show. It brings the total number to have died in all settings - including hospitals, care homes and the community - to 41,662, the Department of Health and Social Care said.

How Brazil's coronavirus outbreak turned political

Katy Watson - BBC South America correspondent
Brazil's handling of the pandemic has turned highly political.
The country has swiftly risen up the grim leaderboard of coronavirus statistics and its death toll - 41,828 - is now the world's second highest.
The Americas account for around half of the number of cases globally. Brazil, Latin America's biggest country, is now the epicentre of the epicentre.
But its leader still seems to care very little - or at least that is the impression he is happy to portray.
When questioned about the death toll in April, Jair Bolsonaro brushed it off saying, "I'm not a gravedigger". A week or so later, he was asked for a comment when Brazil overtook China's death toll, to which he responded "So what?".
Read more here

Historic racism 'may have increased Covid risks'

We have more information from a leaked report into the impact of Covid-19 on black, Asian and minority communities. It finds racism and social inequality may have contributed to increased coronavirus risks for people in these communities.
The Public Health England draft report found "historic racism and poorer experiences of healthcare or at work" meant individuals in BAME groups were less likely to seek care when needed or to speak up when they had concerns about personal protective equipment or risk.
Other possible factors include risks linked to discrimination and occupation, and inequalities in conditions such as diabetes.
“The unequal impact of COVID-19 on BAME communities may be explained by a number of factors ranging from social and economic inequalities, racism, discrimination and stigma, occupational risk, inequalities in the prevalence of conditions that increase the severity of disease including obesity, diabetes, hypertension and asthma," it said.
It also said there was a "lack of trust" of NHS services for many BAME communities.
The report said stakeholders expressed "deep dismay, anger, loss and fear in their communities" as data emerged suggesting Covid-19 was "exacerbating existing inequalities".
It also said there was "deep concern and anxiety" that "if lessons are not learnt from this initial phase of the epidemic, future waves of the disease could again have severe and disproportionate impacts".

Russia's April death toll doubles after revision

Russia's official death toll for April has more than doubled to 2,712, after the country changed how it classifies fatalities.
Officials are now warning that May's updated toll is likely to be even worse, as the country's daily number of new infections peaked in the middle of last month.
The official overall death toll still stands at just over 6,800. But earlier this week, health officials in Moscow said the death toll in May in the capital city alone was 5,260, when calculated using the new method.
Before, the official toll only included people for whom the virus was listed as the main cause of their death. However, it now includes all those who have died after testing positive for the virus, even if Covid-19 is not listed as the primary cause of their death.

Physio's 'mum guilt' while helping Covid-19 patients

For Katie Partridge, working 12.5 hour shifts on intensive care and recovery wards helping coronavirus patients leaves her feeling a sense of guilt.
Not because of her work, but because the mum of two often leaves while her children are asleep and returns after they have gone to bed.
"They know Mummy is helping people but I am torn when I see other mums doing amazing things - yet I feel pure joy when a patient recovers," she said. "I hope my kids will understand it one day and be proud of their mum - and know that I wasn't home with them because I was helping people who needed me."
The 31-year-old is a respiratory team lead at Basildon University Hospital in Essex and mother to Emelia, four, and 18-month-old Elliott.
Read more of her story here

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Jun 13 2020, 20:56

Coming to terms with months on the New York frontline

It was the worst day of Anthony Almojera's career.
In just one shift in early April, the veteran New York City paramedic had to tell a dozen families that a loved one had died from suspected coronavirus. But in the days that followed, this became his grim routine.
When we first spoke to Anthony nine weeks ago, New York was at the forefront of the global Covid-19 pandemic, with the state reporting more diagnosed cases than any single country.
Since then, five of his colleagues have died. Four contracted coronavirus and one took his own life after telling co-workers he was struggling to cope.
Anthony is still coming to terms with what's happened.
Read more here

Celebrations (and a forbidden hug) at midnight border reopening

We reported earlier that Monday is the day that the European Union wants all its members to reopen their internal borders by.
France, Belgium and Greece are among those who will then open their frontiers to most other EU member states.
But Poland did so today - reopening all its EU borders after three months of closure.
Small towns that straddle the border celebrated as the gates opened at midnight. The mayors of Frankfurt (Oder) on the German side and Slubice on the Polish side toasted the moment with champagne, and were even pictured sharing a hug.
Work commuters were initially barred from crossing when the border closed in March but later allowed to resume travel.
"We have missed it, we are going there to eat out quite often and do shopping. So it's great now, we have missed it a lot," said Petra, from Frankfurt (Oder), a town not to be confused with the major city on the other side of Germany.

Chile replaces health minister amid death toll controversy

Chile's President Sebastián Piñera has removed his health minister, Jaime Mañalich.
Mañalich, who had only been in the role for a year, has been replaced with Oscar Enrique Paris, the president's office announced in a briefing.

Iran will reimpose lockdown if cases keep rising - Rouhani

Iran will reintroduce lockdown measures if health regulations are not observed in the country, says President Hassan Rouhani.
The country has seen a spike in coronavirus infections since it began to ease restrictions in mid-April. More than 2,400 new cases were reported on Saturday, bringing the national toll to 184,955. Total deaths have also risen to 8,730.

Peruvian doctor fired for telling people to drink bleach-like substance

A Peruvian doctor in charge of his region's coronavirus response has been fired after recommending people ingest chlorine dioxide, an industrial disinfectant similar to bleach.
Amílcar Huancahuari, who was head of the Covid-19 response in the southern region of Ayacucho, said the chemical should be distributed to everyone with coronavirus symptoms, despite it not being suitable for human consumption.
During a press conference he claimed chlorine dioxide had "already been tested with people with Covid-19 and they have improved remarkably".
Ayacucho governor Carlos Rúa then held a follow-up press conference to say Huancahuari's comments were made in a personal capacity, because he hadn't discussed chlorine dioxide in any official meetings.
A few hours later Rúa announced that the doctor had been dismissed from his post.


We're pausing our live coverage

That's it from us for today. Thank you very much for following our coverage.
Here is a reminder of some of the day's key coronavirus developments:

  • Brazil's reported Covid-19 death toll - 41,828 - has become the second highest in the world , surpassing the UK. Only the US has reported more
  • Meanwhile, Russia is the latest country - along with Brazil and the US - to have recorded more than 500,000 confirmed cases of the virus
  • Racism may have played a part in increasing risks of ethnic minorities catching and dying from Covid-19 in the UK, a leaked report says
  • And people living alone in England and Northern Ireland have been reunited with loved ones as "support bubble" schemes begin

Today's live page was brought to you by: Vicky Baker, Kevin Ponniah, Joshua Cheetham, Ashitha Nagesh, Suzanne Leigh, Doug Faulkner, Matt Cannon, Sarah Collerton and Shamaan Freeman-Powell

    Current date/time is Sat Nov 28 2020, 08:31